This recipe is a fabulous example of how really simple ingredients can make a superb dish. With only three ingredients—good old bacon, salty halloumi, and fresh, flavorful oregano—you can make succulent, bite-sized keto treats that are perfect for snacks, appetizers, or for passing around at parties. This bacon-wrapped halloumi is awesome for grilling, too.
Tips for making the Bacon-Wrapped Halloumi Cheese with Fresh Oregano
Halloumi is a semi-hard, salty cheese with origins in the Mediterranean. Traditional halloumi is made from sheep’s and goat’s milk, and it’s often seasoned with mint.
Don’t worry if you can’t find halloumi: any cheese meant for grilling (i.e., which doesn’t melt while heating) can be used in its place. Just make sure it contains no food additives or other baddies! (Actually, here’s an article listing some cheeses that you can use for grilling/cooking. We Europeans are pretty familiar with halloumi, but in the US, it might be more challenging to find, depending on where you live.) It’s really important to use cheese that doesn’t melt: to find out why, read about my failed experiments with another type of cheese in the next chapter!
But let’s take a look at how to make this simple but super-tasty dish:
So, you need only three ingredients: halloumi…
Cut the halloumi into 8 pieces.
If you use traditional halloumi, it can break into smaller pieces when you cut it. No worries: just make sure you have 8 similar-sized “heaps” of halloumi. Wrap each heap in bacon and you are all set.
Take about 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves (no stems! And don’t even think of using dried oregano! The fresh herb is the way to go here) and place them onto a halloumi piece. (You can also check the video in this post how to do that.) Be sure to use enough oregano: you really want to be able to taste the herb’s flavor, since it balances out the salty halloumi and bacon.
Wrap the halloumi piece (or “heap”) with a slice of bacon.
Then wrap it with yet another slice of bacon. Wrapping the halloumi in two slices of bacon prevents the cheese from oozing out during baking or grilling.
Repeat with the rest of the halloumi pieces.
Place the bacon-wrapped halloumi pieces into a glass or ceramic baking dish.
Here we go.
Bake in the pre-heated oven (or grill)…
…until the bacon is crispy.
My bacon-wrapped halloumi experiments
Several years ago, I got an idea from one of my readers (thanks, Gladys!) about bacon-wrapped halloumi with chives. I think she saw the recipe on BBC. It’s intrigued me since then, and I’d been meaning to try it for ages—especially since it featured minimal ingredients, and was simple enough for my impatient nerves to endure!
Well, years passed and I never managed to try out the recipe — until this summer, that is, when I finally managed to get the ingredients for it. Actually, my herb garden is bursting with different herb varieties at the moment, so I thought I’d try the recipe not only with chives, but with a bunch of different herbs to see which combination would work the best.
I did the first experiments in our summer house, where I also have a small herb garden. And I planned on trying out both bacon-wrapped halloumi and bacon-wrapped chèvre (a French goat cheese). The chèvre I used was soft, and was sold in small rounds of about 1 ½-inch (3.8 cm), which I thought would make great bite-sized gems when wrapped in bacon and seasoned with herbs.
So I began to conduct two experiments: I took halloumi pieces and chèvre pieces and sprinkled different fresh herbs on top, using one herb variety per piece of cheese. Then I wrapped each cheese piece in a slice of bacon. After that, I baked the bacon-wrapped creations in the oven until the bacon was crispy.
To my shock, the soft chèvre had oozed out from inside the bacon during baking — and looked terrible! There was almost no cheese left inside the bacon. And what was left was creepily peeking out from between the bacon slices. But most of the cheese had fallen to the bottom of the baking dish, creating a formless layer of white matter. That, my friend, wasn’t a pretty sight. Well, I could have used two slices of bacon per piece of cheese to try to contain the cheese, but I bet the soft chèvre would have oozed out anyway. So, this experiment was a pure fail. The taste was okay, actually, but the recipe as it stood simply didn’t work.
The halloumi, however, didn’t ooze out that much—just a little bit—so I thought wrapping the halloumi slice with two slices of bacon would solve this minor aesthetic problem. Plus, I was excited to taste how well each herb’s flavor would match the halloumi-bacon combo.
Here are my experiments and my ratings of how well I thought each herb matched the bacon-wrapped halloumi (***** = incredible; * = inedible):
- Chives **** (Very tasty! Great all-round flavor)
- Mint * (Even though halloumi is usually packaged with a little dried mint, this was a terrible experience. It actually felt like eating toothpaste!)
- Oregano ***** (Ohhh yes! Very flavorful, very versatile flavor and super-appetizing! Unbeatable!)
- Rosemary **** (Very good: a bit unusual, but palatable. For some reason, fresh rosemary always reminds me of a spa and spa treatments)
- Thyme *** (Very basic, but good)
- Basil ****½ (Yum! So great with both halloumi and bacon: a good match)
- Parsley ** (As you’d expect: mild, a bit too bland. Nothing special here)
As you see, oregano was my absolute favorite, followed up by basil. I’m surprised I had such a bad experience with mint. And as for parsley, the bland result was no shocker, because, well, parsley itself is already pretty bland. So, for the final recipe, oregano won hands-down.
And here’s the recipe for you to enjoy:
|Nutrition Information||In total||Per serving if 4 servings in total|
|Protein||80.7 g||20.2 g|
|Fat||133.2 g||33.3 g|
|Net carbs||3.8 g||0.9 g|
|kcal||1537 kcal||384 kcal|
Tips for variation
If you don’t eat red meat or pork, you can use turkey bacon instead.
There are plenty of herbs in this world, so feel free to conduct your own taste tests trying different fresh herbs — with friends or family it’s even more fun!
Actually, what’s even more entertaining is to let your foodie guests guess which herb you have used in the bacon-wrapped halloumi. So it’s kind of a fun game to make these little gems with many different herbs, and let the guests guess which herb you have used. If this sounds simple, it’s not. When you try it yourself, you’ll notice that guessing the correct herb is not that easy! That’s why you should remember to secretly mark for yourself which herbs you have used in which batch of bacon-wrapped halloumi! These make great hors d’oeuvres or nibbles for a grill party—or any party at all.